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Old 03-29-2007, 02:23 PM   #1
phillfam99
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Dizzy 97 Saturn SL1 Starting Prob

Hey guys,
I'm a new saturn owner and I am having starting issue. When i insert the key into the ignition an turn the vehicle over, it will crank and crank and after about 5 seconds it will start. Some times it takes longer and sometimes it is a turn key engine. I have trouble shot every option. I changed the wires, plugs, oil filter, air filter, the plugs are gap'd to spec. I have current running to them. I pulled one of the wires off the plug and inserted a screwdriver into the end of the plug and touched it to my forearm to see if i was getting spark. My buddy cranked and i felt the shock. I thought it was then a fuel issue. So, I took the car to Wal-Mart and had them do a fuel injector cleaning on the whole system. Still having the funky starting problem. I then thought it was the fuel pump relay. But I turned the key to the on position and listend at the fuel port filler to see if it came on. It did. And last but not least I took it to Autozone to have them plug a code reader into the port. They said the only thing wrong with it is the EGR valve. But that shouldnt be a starting problem right? So I am stumped! Any ideas on what I should do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerly,
A guy who regrets buying a saturn.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: 97 Saturn SL1 Starting Prob

This is a known issue with the 97 Saturns. Has to do with the fuel pump that was used. The usual work around is simple and after awhile you get use to it.

1. Turn the ignition to run but do not start the car. You should hear the fuel pump priming.
2. Take the time to put on your seatbelts and in general get ready to drive.
3. Start the car. Usually works everytime.

A permenant fix action would be to replace the fuel pump. Part runs about $200 and you will have to drop the fuel tank to replace it.

I have heard of someone replacing a check valve but have no information on it.

Forgot, Welcome to the Forum. Have you checked/changed your ECTS?
...
"When you stop to fill up on oil, don't forget to check the gas"
98 SL2 MT 213K+ Daily Driver 38+ mpg
97 SL2 AT 150K Original Owner
95 SL2 MT 220K+
My Saturns have BRASS ones!
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: 97 Saturn SL1 Starting Prob

I have the same issue, but just do as romzek says and you should not have any problems. for me it takes may 1 or 2 times, but it always starts.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: 97 Saturn SL1 Starting Prob

It is a small problem to deal with.Just do what romzek suggest doingThe main thing is it starts,OH and welcome!
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: 97 Saturn SL1 Starting Prob

Put key in and turn to one and wait for service test light to go out and gas gage to read and then crank engine. If it does not light within 2 seconds, pause for a few seconds (release to to on) and try again. My daughters 97 SC2 has same quirk. When I changed the fuel filter last year it helped a lot and it starts 99% of the time on first try using this method even below zero.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: 97 Saturn SL1 Starting Prob

This is a commom problem with 1997 Saturns,a known factory defect , the fuel pump losing it's prime.Being an x Saturn dealership tech I have replaced many a pump under warrenty for this same concern.If you are not in a hurry you can always cycle the key on and off a couple of times to rebuild the fuel pressure and it will usually start right up.
If you want to fix it the pump will have to be replaced with the up graded pump which saturn sells.
Good luck Rick
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: 97 Saturn SL1 Starting Prob

Hey Guys,
Thanks for all your help. You all were right. It fixed the problem! Thanks again.
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